Monthly Archives: March 2011

Conference: Service Design 2011

In May this year, a one-day conference called Service Design 2011 will take place in Sydney. Here’s what it says on the site:

“Service Design 2011 is a single day, single track conference, all about designing services for people and organisations. The conference program will cover a wide range of topics needed for a service design project – determining strategy and scope, design research, designing end-to-end solutions, case studies about completed services, influencing related projects and implementing complex services […] The conference will be focused around the Australian service design community, with presentations by local speakers and opportunities to share experiences with each other.”

Here’s a screen grab of the program below.

If you want to know more about the presentations and speakers visit the conference website here. I like the idea that the conference focuses locally on “the Australian service design community.”


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CUSP: Australian design for the next decade

The forthcoming exhibition CUSP: Australian design for the next decade looks at “design and its potential to transform the way we live.”

Last night, the wonderful team at Object Australian Centre for Craft and Design hosted a beautiful dinner and conversation at the Object Gallery (if you haven’t been it’s a must. And don’t miss the fab shop).

Object Gallery and shop in Surry Hills, Sydney

The dinner introduced and discussed CUSP, which will be a touring exhibition around Australia in 2012. It will include designers, makers, architects, creators and creative teams:

“… whose work is currently on the ‘cusp’ of a major breakthrough, and whose practice has the potential to effect major change in the decade ahead. CUSP will be a multilayered project comprising not only an exhibition, but collaborative research, online activity, public talks, cross-disciplinary collaboration, and events.”

Do you know anyone in Australia who works on the ‘cusp’ of design or craft practice? If so, let me know.

I should mention that the delicious dinner was designed and created by Christopher Thé, chef and owner of Black Star Pastry in Newtown (see last night’s menu below). The Object team warned it might start an addiction and I think they could be right. Dinner was served in the Object Gallery with the backdrop of the current exhibition, In Good Company, that shows what happens behind the scenes of numerous Australia designers and their businesses.

Watch this space for more on CUSP and big thanks to the team at Object for hosting a beautiful night and Christopher for the delicious dinner.


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A design policy for Australia

In 2010 a consortium of bodies that represent or practice across the design and creative disciplines came together to form the Australian Design Alliance.

The Alliance was formed to stimulate the national government to:

“… recognise design as a potent means of realising policy objectives such as digital technological innovation, education, health, crime prevention, construction, environmental sustainability and transport.”

The Alliance brings a coherent voice to lobbying the Australian Government to recgonise and write design into future policy. Its vision and mission is outlined below:

“The [AdA] vision is to develop a culture of design in Australia to strengthen economic competitiveness, innovation and sustainability. Its mission is to achieve greater advancement, recognition and valuing of Australian design by governments, business and community, plus greater innovation and collaboration within the design sector together with the application of strategic design approaches across all sectors.”

In September 2010 the first round table discussion was held at the Sydney Opera House. Thought leaders in Australian design discussed the areas of:

  • Design policy
  • Design research
  • Design as a competitive advantage
  • Design education
  • Design culture
  • Innovation
  • Design in our cities
  • Public engagement
  • Design and sustainability
  • Design and the media

The Launch Event Report profiles these discussions and top priorities for the Alliance moving forward. The Alliance agreed that they would pursue a:

  1. National design policy linked to Australia’s innovation agenda;
  2. Education and design skills at all education levels from school to MBAs;
  3. Case studies demonstrating how good design can contribute to improved economic growth through supporting superior business models and improved public sector service delivery.

More detail on the above can be found in the Launch Event Report (click to download).

Having met a few people highly involved in the AdA and read the report, there’s a lot of thought leadership out there for design in Australia. The three top priorities are great starting places of the Alliance, addressing the important areas of policy, education and evidence. With the latter, there’s lots of evidence out there of innovative uses of design. Sometimes it’s not the easiest to find and sometimes its challenging to articulate to different audiences, but it’s out there.

From what I have gathered so far of the AdA, there’s a lot of work to do but I think it is going to be a great time for design in Australia.

ps. Apologies for the great length of time between posts. It’s taken a much longer time than anticipated to get internet connected to our apartment. I won’t convey the terrible service experience here and just say that it’s great to finally be back online and connected!

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